Study Suggests Vitamin B and Folic Acid Can Prevent Early Stage AMD in Women

February 24, 2009
Dear Colleague,

Attached, please find an article that appeared this week on and was featured in the Fort Myers News Press, in a condensed form, regarding women, Vitamin B, Folic Acid and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). These are the first study results that suggest that Vitamin B and Folic Acid can prevent early stage AMD in women.

The article outlines a study, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), showing the potential correlation between women who took Vitamin B and Folic Acid supplements for seven years and a decreased risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Please note that Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida is aware of the NIH study cited in the article. These findings are in addition to the NIH study released a few years ago called AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) which showed a diet rich in vitamins A, C, E, Copper and Zinc can reduce the risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration by 25 percent.

As part of the healthy guidelines set forth by the AREDS program, we urge patients to eat a diet high in green, leafy vegetables containing Lutein as well as supplementing their diet with Beta Carotene, Copper and Antioxidants. However, as with any vitamin or supplement regimen, patients should first consult with their primary care physician to determine if any of the AREDS formulations will interact with their daily prescribed medications.

Currently, the NIH is conducting AREDS II which studies the effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Age-related Macular Degeneration. The study also examines the effects of decreased levels of Zinc and Copper on AMD risk reduction.

The study began in June 2008 and results are expected in five to six years. You can count on Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida to keep you updated on the study’s progress and informed of its outcome.

Best regards,
Joseph P. Walker, MD
Glenn L. Wing, MD
Paul A. Raskauskas, MD
Tom Ghuman, MD
Ashish G. Sharma, MD, , FACS
Donald C. Fletcher, MD

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